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Fin Fest Gives Fans Opportunity to Celebrate the Draft

Posted Apr 28, 2012

With the addition of a new crop of rookies, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Miami Dolphins ushered in a new era by hosting a big party, the first-ever Fin Fest.


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As the draft was wrapping up on its final day, more than 6,000 Dolphins fans convened at SunLife Stadium for the inaugural event, which gave fans access to some of their favorite players and allowed them to explore stadium in a whole new light.

During the event there was a palpable buzz, not only because of the first-round selection of Tannehill, but also due to the addition of a few local standouts, Olivier Vernon and Lamar Miller, both of whom played for the University of Miami. With the regular season still several months away, the draft seemed to be an ideal time for fans to get back to Sun Life Stadium.

 “I think after the draft was a good idea, though, because people were hyped about it a little bit,” said Dolphins fan Luis Tobar. “If you’re happy with the picks, then you come over here. But if you’re upset with the draft, you may not.”

Festivities kicked off in the morning with John Offerdahl’s Gridiron Griller Tailgate Challenge, pitting participants against each other in a large-scale grill-off. The contest was judged by a panel of current Dolphins and alumni. Once fans entered thestadium for the free event, they were allowed to take the field with some of their favorite players to run drills and toss around the football.

On a busy South Florida sports day, fans weren’t totally insulated from the ongoing draft action. Those waiting for autographs from Tannehill and other Dolphins watched as The Finsiders broke down the latest from New York City.

Amid all the excitement, Tobar said the coolest part of the day was being able to connect with the franchise’s storied past.

 “I actually never saw the two trophies (before),” Tobar said. “I’ve been a Dolphins fan forever, and I had never been in that room where they have Don Shula’s statue and Dan Marino. I’m pretty happy just to see that.”
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